Arthur S. Langlie continued father's legacy of service

Arthur Sheridan Langlie, a prominent Seattle attorney and the son of former Gov. Arthur B. Langlie, saw the toll politics had taken on his father's life and chose law for his own career. But he continued his father's legacy of public service, and never lost his passion for the Republican Party of Abe Lincoln.

"All the Arthurs have taken a great interest in politics," said his son, Arthur K. Langlie of Seattle. "The conversations around the dinner table were not, 'what did you do in school?' but 'what do you think about this issue?'"

Mr. Langlie, 71, died Friday of a stroke.

Born in Seattle on June 28, 1930, he was 10 years old when his father went to Olympia for what would be the first of three terms in office. He grew up sliding down banisters at the state Capitol and helping his father chase bats out of the governor's mansion.

He served as a page in the Legislature, but his father would not let him accept a salary. At the end of one session, Vic Meyers, a colorful lieutenant governor, announced to the Senate that young Langlie had done an excellent job but had not been paid, and so he would pass a hat for him.

"And I don't want to hear any jingling," Meyers said.

Mr. Langlie also met his wife of 49 years, Jane LeCocq, as a child in the capital. The governor and Jane's father, Dr. John LeCocq, were both members of a Seattle philanthropic organization, the Active Club, and the two children played together on the Capitol grounds, later marrying in 1953.

The grandson of Norwegian immigrants, Mr. Langlie graduated in 1948 from Lakeside School, where he served as editor of the school paper. As a junior he received a medal given to the underclassman who contributed the most to school life. The yearbook noted what would become a lifelong characteristic: "Whenever there was a committee of any kind to be headed, Art could be counted on."

Mr. Langlie attended Princeton University on a scholarship and graduated cum laude in 1952. He received his law degree from the University of Washington in 1958. Between Princeton and law school, Mr. Langlie served two years with the Coast Guard. He retired from the Coast Guard reserves in 1980 with the rank of captain.

Mr. Langlie clerked for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after law school. He practiced law with the Seattle firm McMicken, Rupp and Schweppe until 1966, when he formed his own firm, Langlie and Praeger. For the past 10 years, Mr. Langlie was a sole practitioner.

"He loved talking about cases," said his son-in-law, Steve Miletich, a reporter for The Seattle Times. "It was an interest we both shared."

Mr. Langlie took over his father's seat on the Seattle advisory board of the Salvation Army, serving on the board for the next 40 years. He was the group's legal counsel, handling estate bequests and other business matters largely for free. Joe Posillico, general secretary of the Northwest Division of the Salvation Army, said Mr. Langlie brought a deep concern for the needs of common people to his time on the board.

"He could get up at a board meeting and give a rousing speech," Posillico said. Posillico and other friends say Mr. Langlie was also a great storyteller who could entertain groups of people with tales about state history and his legal cases.

In later years, Mr. Langlie became a floatplane pilot and enjoyed wilderness adventures. But his favorite place, said daughter Emily Langlie, a KOMO-TV reporter, always remained "a lovely blue house on the beach at Indianola," near Kingston, Kitsap County.

He had spent summers there as a boy, before his family moved to Olympia. When his own children were young, he sought out the old beach house's owners and began renting it again. "He introduced all his children and grandchildren to the wonders of beach life and the beauty of Puget Sound," his daughter said.

The family eventually bought the house, and his daughter recalled her father organizing spooky night walks and competitions in log walking and creek jumping. There were different levels of competition, she said, Championship of the World, Championship of the Universe, and the best and finest award, Championship of Indianola.

Mr. Langlie still worked at his law firm six days a week and was scheduled to be in court last Thursday. His opponent did not appear, and Mr. Langlie's children were able to tell him, before he died at Harborview Medical Center, that he had won his final case.

Besides his wife, Jane, daughter Emily and son Arthur, Mr. Langlie is survived by his sister, Carrie Ellen Langlie Vasko; daughter Karin Langlie Glass; and six grandchildren, Elizabeth Jane, Daniel, Trevor, William, Arthur Francis and Theodore.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Salvation Army Hope Campaign, the Indianola Memorial Fund or Lakeside School. A memorial service will be held Friday afternoon at University Presbyterian Church, 4540 15th Ave. N.E., where he was a longtime member, with the time to be announced.